Occupational Therapy For Elbow Fractures

Occupational Therapy For Elbow Fractures

Anytime a bone is damaged to the point of a fracture, it is essential to seek immediate and future care. Even after an elbow fracture has fully healed, the recovery journey will not be over until you restore the joint’s full function. Here at East End Occupational Therapy, our team specializes in this type of treatment. We’ll help you through correcting the fracture, then move on to reteaching the body how to utilize the joint.

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Causes Of Elbow Fractures

Each bone in your body has the potential to be broken or fractured. The bones that make up the elbow joint are not an exception to this rule. Since the arms are required to complete a majority of one’s daily tasks, patients must understand the common causes of elbow fractures. By sharing them with our patients, we hope to play an active role in avoiding these causes, keeping the elbows protected. All of the below can lead to elbow fractures:

  • Falling on an outstretched arm.
  • Falling directly onto the elbow.
  • Suffering blunt force trauma directly to the elbow.

Symptoms To Watch For 

Sometimes people may experience fractures without knowing this has happened. The longer you continue to move around a damaged elbow joint without seeking proper care, the more likely it is to suffer from long-lasting complications. Our team at East End Occupational Therapy does not want to see that happen to you. That is why we’d like to share the most common symptoms that accompany elbow fractures. If you find yourself dealing with any of the below, you shouldn’t wait to seek care for an elbow fracture:

  • Swelling around the elbow.
  • Numbness in the hand.
  • Inability to straighten the arm.
  • Pain when trying to extend the arm.
  • Visible deformity of the elbow.

The Importance Of Swift Treatment

Visiting our team right away after a suspected elbow fracture is extremely important for a variety of reasons. When the elbow becomes fractured, the first thing that needs to be done is placing it back into the correct position. When medical professionals fail to accomplish this, the bones can begin to heal incorrectly, leading to permanent crookedness and a limited range of motion. This can lead to an increased chance of future injuries, as well as a decrease in one’s quality of life.   

Treatment Options

Recovering from an elbow fracture can be broken out into two steps. The first step will be for the fractured bones to heal. The second step involves reteaching the body how to move correctly after your initial recovery. Fortunately, our team is well equipped to handle both facets of this process. Below are just some examples of what you can expect to take place:

  • Physically resetting the fracture back into place.
  • A mix of casting, bracing and splinting to keep the joint immobile while the bones heal.  
  • Being taught exercises that promote standard movement patterns once the fractures have fully recovered.  
  • Potentially learning how to use assistive devices that can be utilized to improve your quality of life. 

Recovery Prognosis

The exact timeline for recovering from an elbow fracture will vary on a patient to patient basis. While we will not make any guarantees, we can paint some broad strokes regarding an expected timeline. In most cases, patients should expect to wear a cast or sling for anywhere between 3 to 6 weeks. Once the fracture has fully healed, it may take another week or two for functionality and range of motion to return to pre-injury levels.   

Schedule An Appointment

Here at East End Occupational Therapy, our team wants to help patients in any way we can. When you’re facing an elbow fracture, we can administer the treatments needed for you to make a full recovery. To get this process started, contact us today and schedule your first appointment. 

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East End Occupational Therapy